In addition, I am distracted by technology, work or stress and not really present in the moment. A friend or family member may be talking to me, and I am not giving them my full attention. I am working but thinking about the laundry, the errands I need to run and the argument I had with my daughter.
We can live a happier, more fulfilling life if we focus on the present. We need to relish every moment we have on this Earth. Here are 10 tips to help you live in the moment:
Focus on now
If you are constantly worrying about what might happen in the future, how can you fully appreciate the present? Tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. You may also be obsessing about things you can’t control. What good will worrying about it do? Redirect your mental energy to enjoy what you are doing right now.
Do one thing at a time
We have talked about multitasking in the past. You aren’t really multitasking, you are quickly switching from one task to another. You are not fully giving the present your attention if you’re talking on the phone with a friend and typing an email. Do one thing at time. If you’re eating lunch at work, just eat. Don’t give into the urge to read a report while you eat.
Give yourself space
Related to doing one thing at a time is putting space between things. Leave room between tasks on your schedule. Then, if you run long on one task, you won’t be stressed about getting behind on the next task.
Our society encourages us to do more, more, more. We have to fill our days to the brim. Rushing around and hurrying through things does not help you live in the moment. It leaves you frazzled and always thinking about the next thing. You can do less. Doing less means you can accomplish your goals, feel more satisfied and probably achieve a better end result.
When you do less, you can live more slowly. You can take the time to enjoy the present. How often do you sit and talk to your spouse without any distractions? Do you take the time to have a 5-minute, uninterrupted conversation with a child? If we slow down and do less, we will capture those precious moments that slip by when we are stressed and overwhelmed.
Savor the little things
Take time to notice the world around you. We tend to forget to appreciate the little things. Enjoy whatever it is you are doing. Enjoy snuggling on the couch with your kids instead of thinking about the laundry and sink full of dirty dishes. Relish an ice cream cone. Soak up the sun shining on your face.
Random acts of kindness help you live in the moment. If you are doing something nice, you are focused on the present. Smile at strangers. Hold the door open for others. Help a friend who is feeling overwhelmed. You improve the present moment for you and someone else.
Be thankful. When everything seems to be going wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the good things. You can be grateful for family and friends. You may be in good health. You have a roof over your head, a warm place to sleep and food to eat. There is always something to appreciate.
Spend five minutes a day doing nothing. Just sit in a quiet place. Be aware of your thoughts and breathe. Take in the world around you. Rejoice in the stillness of doing nothing. You may be surprised by how much it can help your mood and attitude.
Let it go
Leave the past in the past. You can’t go back and change it. Worrying about it won’t change it. Give yourself permission to let it go. Forgive others and move on. If you continue to allow past events to affect your mood, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the present.
Life moves quickly. If you’re spending all your time worrying about things that have already happened or might happen in the future, you are missing out on the here and now. You can live a more balanced and happy life when you live it in the present.